Show Details for the week of October 19th, 2015

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Follow up with Joe Lauria on Obama and Putin – this time with more Ukraine
  • Junaid Ahmad on the continuing instability of Afghanistan and the ongoing U.S. presence there

More about this week’s guests:
Joe Lauria is an international affairs correspondent specializing in the United Nations, Lauria just wrote the piece “Obama’s Self-Deceit” for ConsortiumNews.com. Lauria writes: “There was stunned silence in the General Assembly Hall on Monday as U.S. President Barack Obama warned leaders against falling back to pre-United Nations days, in which strong nations imposed their will by force against the weak. There was apparent disbelief as he said it was Russia and China that wanted a ‘return to the rules that applied for most of human history and that pre-date this institution.’ …

    “The silence in the chamber came because everything Obama ascribed to others perfectly describes U.S. behavior from the end of the Second World War until today. …

“Yet Obama on Monday was blaming Russia and China for the mess Washington has created, saying, ‘We see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law.’ Obama cited Russia’s ‘annexation’ of Crimea and ‘further aggression’ in Eastern Ukraine.“He didn’t mention the documented U.S. orchestrated coup against a democratically-elected president in Kiev, which eastern Ukrainians have resisted. …

“At heart is either Obama’s willful ignorance of Ukraine, a clumsy attempt at disinformation, or as Vladimir Putin suggested in his U.N. speech a half hour later, a big measure of self-deception.

“Obama said Ukrainians favor the West. That may be true of most western Ukrainians but not the whole country. Then, he said the U.S. has ‘few economic interests’ in Ukraine. That’s woefully ignorant or a blatant lie. Monsanto has a big interest. Then there’s Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and a John Kerry family friend joining the board of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, just after the coup.

“And the country’s finance minister is an American, Natalie Jaresko, who was given Ukrainian citizenship on the day she began the job. Why put an American government official in charge of the treasury of a foreign country? …

“On Syria, Obama (and his junior partners in Europe) insist that President Bashar al-Assad must leave office, as though that would make ISIS lay down its arms. …

“Putin argues that Assad’s military is the most effective ground force (along with the Kurds) against the monstrous group and that all nations who want ISIS defeated should work with Assad. …

“‘The Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere,’ Putin told the Assembly. ‘It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes.’ …”

JAJunaid Ahmad is director of the Center for Global Dialog in Lahore, and is also a professor of law and politics at the University of Lahore, Pakistan.

The AP reports: “The head of an international medical charity whose hospital in northern Afghanistan was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike says the ‘extensive, quite precise destruction’ of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake.”

Huffington Post reports: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday that he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to keep troops in Afghanistan, prolonging the war beyond 2016. … Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton also said Friday that she thought Obama had made ‘the right decision.'”

Quote: “President Obama’s decision to rescind his earlier pronouncement of withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan must be interpreted as an admission to the great scandal of the ‘global war on terrorism’: Western violence has only increased violence and instability, not ended or reduced it. While he continues to ridiculously invoke the insignificant Al Qaeda threat as the main pretext for the ongoing U.S. presence in Afghanistan, President Obama is in fact deflecting attention attention from what’s really going on: multiplying Taliban and resistance factions emerging and militarily humiliating the puppet Afghan security forces, as well as the rapid and widespread rise of ISIS in the country. The U.S./NATO Occupation, now almost a decade and a half after the invasion of 2001, is directly responsible for creating the conditions that have produced these dangerous forces.

“While what’s really needed to solve Afghanistan’s problems and endemic violence are political negotiations involving all of the regional countries and the factions they support, Washington continues to prioritize its bitter rivalry with those countries — such as Iran, Russia, and China — and hence is only interested in continuing to project its arrogant power, regardless of the cost to the Afghan people.”

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